Mille Lacs Co. deputy accused of abusing boys on fishing trip

A Mille Lacs County sheriff's deputy has been charged with sexually abusing young boys who accompanied him on fishing trips.

Aaron Joseph Heuer appeared in Otter Tail County District Court Tuesday on four counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and four counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct.

Investigators allege Heuer inappropriately touched four boys, ages 8 to 10 years old, last month while working as a volunteer fishing guide at Lutheran Island Camp in Henning, Minn. The criminal complaint alleges he then ordered the boys to have sexual contact with him.

The complaint says Heuer threatened to push them out of the boat if they refused.

The complaint alleges that Heuer had been involved with the camp for a number of years before he began volunteering on fishing trips, "including two years as a maintenance and grounds person [and] three years as a camp counselor until he was too old to be a counselor."

According to a release from the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, Heuer also sexually abused two of the boys on earlier fishing trips in Aitkin County.

Each first-degree count carries a maximum of 30 years in prison, a $40,000 fine or both.

Heuer, who's worked with the Mille Lacs County Sheriff's Office for six years, has been placed on leave and remains in the Otter Tail County Jail.

Agents with the BCA as well as deputies from sheriff's departments in Aitkin, Mille Lacs and Otter Tail counties are investigating.

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